This fairy tale-like introduction seemed appropriate to begin our review of one of Europe's most beautiful theme parks. Of course, as you might have inferred by reading the title, the resort does have some issues, but it is still able to capture our attention thanks to its fantastic themed areas and original attractions.
The Disneyland Paris Resort - as a whole - has a great layout. Just like in the case of Disneyland Resort in California, the two parks are located within walking distance. It's a true blessing being able to park-hop without needing to get a bus, a monorail, or a boat. In addition to that, Disney Village (a very small and barely-themed version of Downtown Disney) is located right in front of both parks.
The majority of the themed hotels are also located within walking distance from the parks (especially the Disneyland Hotel, New York, Sequoia Lodge, and Newport Bay Club), even though free buses run continuously for Guests' convenience (it could take up to 25 minutes to walk to the Hotel Cheyenne or the Hotel Santa Fe, but it can still be done). Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch is the only one with no free transportation (Guests get free parking at Disneyland, though).
The bag check process appeared to be much quicker and more efficient, thanks to the use of X-Ray machines. Guests not willing to use the machines have the choice of going through a manual search.
The theming seen inside Disneyland Park is simply superb. No other Magic Kingdom we have visited in the past matches the grandeur of the brick walkways seen around Main Street U.S.A., the amazing arcades, the backstory of Frontierland, the tropical setting of Adventureland, or the retro-futuristic look of Discoveryland. And that is just the beginning, as the attractions themselves are masterpieces.
As mentioned earlier, maintenance was definitely not a priority at Disneyland Paris in the past, and it shows. Multiple buildings and themed facades are literally crumbling, with visible signs of aging,.Here you are just a few examples showing just how bad the current situation is:
If you thought that Disney's Hollywood Studios was bad, wait until you visit the Walt Disney Studios. The park is a huge hodge-podge of unrelated IPs that are mostly represented by carnival rides and sub-par attractions. Fortunately, the newest ride to open in the park (Ratatouille) is a step in the right direction. Also, CineMagique, the Tower of Terror, and - to a lesser extent - Crush's Coaster help in partially saving the park's sad attraction lineup.
The Walt Disney Studios Park has plenty of live shows (not as many as Hollywood Studios, though). According to a recent announcement released by the resort, Animagique (the park's blacklight show) will actually be changed very soon. That will contribute in keeping the parks' offerings fresh.
There are huge pigeons.
As you might have noticed, the positive notes outnumbered the negative aspects of our latest trip in our review. Disneyland Paris is still a resort that is worth visiting, especially for those leaving in Europe. In all honesty, though, it will be a while until our next Disneyland Paris visit. Due to the high costs of flying and the rising hotel prices, we plan on checking back the resort in 3-5 years to see if at least some of the major issues plaguing the resort will be resolved.
Nice story! If you are over, don't forget to check out 'de efteling' in the Netherlands as well. You would love the theming!
As a Frenchman, glad you enjoyed our resort! I'm confident that things will change in the future with Tom Wolber now at the head of the resort!
As for the smoking problem, you are completely entitled to ask them to go smoke somewhere else since the law states that it's prohibited to smoke in public areas unless there's a designated space; which there is...
People just can't be bothered and it's so rude.
Very well written, nice photos, thanks a lot ! Looking forward to what you have to say about Europa Park !
thanks for the article, and the disclaimers at the beginning
Haha, my first thought looking at this pictures was "Everyone looks so cold!! Didn't they go in May?"
Oh how I wish our Tomorrowland was redone into the Jules Verne-inspired Discoveryland. It is so beautiful and not as easily dated as our "futuristic" tomorrowland is now. Plus, we have epcot, which more or less has a similar theme to magic kingdoms tomorrowland.
I feel like this aesthetic would be new and inspiring to children, and refreshing and nostalgic to adults.
Besides the much needed refurbishments needed, this is indeed a beautiful park. Can't wait to see the rest of the photos from your trip!
Great report as usual. I've not been to the park in a few years, but have stayed at the Santa Fe, New York and Disneyland Hotels - as well as one of the offsite hotels too. Disneyland Hotel was by far the best.
I completely agree with your view on smoking in the area (its just as bad in Disney Village too!)....I live in the UK and thankfully there are designated areas for smoking that are USED in our parks...and if guests are caught smoking elsewhere they are reminded about the areas. I guess its a culture thing though.
As for Disney Studios, again, I completely agree; I avoided it on my last visit.
For the people who still want to come. Dont visit the park before 2017. Every big ride will be closed for 3-6 months due the lack of ....
They will also upgrade some rides like pirates, star tours and big thunder Mountain.
Very good story, I'm Spanish and I've been more than 8 times in Disneyland Paris and I have been watching the decline of maintenance.
Another problem that does not explain is that they sell an annual pass for just over 100 € which is almost the cost of a maximum of 1 day. That makes the weekends for visitors from out to be a harrowing experience because without the fastpass can not climb to almost nothing. I hope the fastpass + bring us to improve by foreign tourists visiting Paris.
Amazing article as usual. Keep up the good work.
I visited both WDW and Disneyland Paris (if it's still called that!?) in 2014 (11th visit to WDW and 8th visit to DP) and agree with your comments completely. I live in the UK.
The Disney Studios is just so dull - it's a half a day job. However, the new Ratatouille ride is fantastic! Such brilliant engineering. It is worth the visit to the park just for that attraction.
Disneyland Park is wonderful. What did you think of Phantom Manor? I love how there is a story behind everything. Plus isn't Buzz Lightyear so much better ;-)